“WHAT’S the deal with fish oil?”

October 3rd, 2017

“WHAT’S the deal with fish oil?”

If you are someone who catches and eats a lot of fish, as I am, you get adept at answering questions about which fish are safe, which are sustainable and which should be avoided altogether. But when this fish oil question arrived in my inbox recently, I was stumped. I knew that concerns about overfishing had prompted many consumers to choose supplements as a guilt-free way of getting their omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show lower triglycerides and the risk of heart attack. But I had never looked into the fish behind the oil and whether it was fit, morally or environmentally speaking, to be consumed.

READ MORE

Not Just Another Stinky Fish

October 3rd, 2017

Branford, Conn. — In a bay near this coastal town, the sea was boiling with hundreds of herring-size shiners leaping to flee a marauding squad of bluefish. “These waters are coming back,” Bren Smith yelled above the shrieking din, as sea gulls plunged near our boat, scooping up fish. Mr. Smith grows seaweed and shellfish in Long Island Sound, and he says he’s seen a lot more action out here recently.

What thrilled me about this scene was that I was witnessing what happens when fishery managers set strict catch limits to stop overfishing.

READ MORE

Menhaden reductions could make for tighter bait market

October 3rd, 2017

Menhaden’s ecosystem role low on the foodchain has made it a contentious species as well. Despite the sight of marine mammals chowing down, the impact of management changes have yet to be seen, says Paul Eidman, a charter captain and activist with Menhaden Defenders.

“I don’t know if I really agree” that the lively ocean shows menhaden are booming, Eidman said. “It’s going to take a few years. But we are at the epicenter of the surviving biomass. It should be from Maine to Florida, thicker than thieves.”

Meanwhile recreational fishermen are using more fresh menhaden, particularly for striped bass. That market has gotten big enough for commercial gill net captains to specifically target bunker during peak times of the season, and establish relationships with bait dealers who pick up the fish dockside.

READ MORE